As manufacturing evolves, so have expectations around how businesses produce and deliver their goods to market.
In fact, as countries across the region race to adopt Industry 4.0 solutions and practices to address increasing time-to-market pressures and shrinking product lifecycles, or product customization, many may assume that digital is the default.
However, the picture of the global manufacturing landscape reveals a different reality.
Legacy design systems have not always kept pace with the ever-evolving demands of business, resulting in high costs, loss in potential revenue, and inefficiencies for the businesses and people who depend on them.
From the U.S. Air Force’s production of cost-effective 3D printed cup handles and 3D printed military aircraft toilet seat covers, additive manufacturing continues to provide innovative part solutions for military and naval industries.
Lockheed Martin, a Maryland-based aerospace and defense company, has emphasized its 5Ps Additive Manufacturing Model to demonstrate the potential of additive manufacturing in the lifecycle of a typical U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) program.
“We look to insert the right level of additive capabilities at each of our factories to support production and keep our innovation centers focused on development,” said Carolyn Preisendanz, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Technology at Lockheed Martin RMS in an article by Robert Ghobrial, Technical Fellow and AM Technology Strategist Lockheed Martin, Training and Logistics Solutions (TLS) division.
In a recent study by the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville’s Global Supply Chain Institute, 3D printing was compared to other disrupting technologies, from robotics to automated vehicles. Their conclusion was, unsurprisingly, that while 3D printing is a disruptive technology and brings a plethora of benefits in customization, flexibility and so on, it also has significant obstacles to overcome in order to be more widespread.
Good article from CIO.com on the wider implications of 3D printing.
3D printing isn’t just for specialized industries like healthcare. The technology has great potential and could enable us to create new customer experiences that have not been possible before
I’m currently leg-up, man-down in an Austrian hotel, planning my revenge on the malicious ski lift that tore the ligament in my knee to pieces. Besides planning revenge, I’m both awed at my Austrian doctor’s ability to use one ligament of my leg to replace the one that’s torn up, and disappointed that they haven’t given me a 3D-printed ligament with built-in fitness tracking capabilities. This was my opportunity to become a cyborg — and I’ve missed it.
All of this got me thinking about 3D printing. How will it affect the future, both on a societal level and on the level of your organization? Let me tell you — no matter what industry you’re in — the impact is going to be huge. Sure, we know all about the logistical advantages of 3D printing. But once we get down to printing with all sorts of materials — not just plastics — 3D printing will really go through the roof. Every industry will be majorly impacted.